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2 Lord. Lord Timon 's mad.

3 Lord.

I feel 't upon my bones. 4 Lord. One day he gives us diamonds, next day




Without the Walls of Athens.

Enter TIMON.

Tim. Let me look back upon thee, O thou wall,
That girdlest in those wolves! Dive in the earth,
And fence not Athens! Matrons, turn incontinent;
Obedience fail in children! slaves, and fools,
Pluck the grave wrinkled senate from the bench,
And minister in their steads! to general filths
Convert o' the instant, green1 virginity!
Do 't in your parent' eyes! bankrupts, hold fast;
Rather than render back, out with your knives,
And cut your trusters' throats! bound servants, steal!
Large-handed robbers your grave masters are,
And pill by law! maid, to thy master's bed;
Thy mistress is o' the brothel !2 son of sixteen,

8 stones.] As Timon has thrown nothing at his worthless guests, except warm water and empty dishes, I am induced, with Mr. Malone, to believe that the more ancient drama described in p. 303, had been read by our author, and that he supposed he had introduced from it the "painted stones" as part of his banquet; though in reality he had omitted them. The present mention therefore of such missiles, appears to want propriety.



general filths-] i. e. common sewers. Steevens. -green —] i. e. immature. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "When I was green in judgment Steevens.



o' the brothel!] So the old copies. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, i' the brothel. Johnson.

One would suppose it to mean, that the mistress frequented the brothel; and so Sir Thomas Hanmer understood it. Ritson.

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The meaning is, go to thy master's bed, for he is alone; thy mistress is now of the brothel; is now there. In the old copy, i' th', o' th', and a' th', are written with very little care, or rather seem to have been set down at random in different places.


Pluck the lin❜d crutch from thy old limping sire,
With it beat out his brains! piety, and fear,
Religion to the gods, peace, justice, truth,
Domestick awe, night-rest, and neighbourhood,
Instruction, manners, mysteries, and trades,
Degrees, observances, customs, and laws,
Decline to your confounding contraries,3
And yet confusion live!-Plagues, incident to men,
Your potent and infectious fevers heap
On Athens, ripe for stroke! thou cold sciatica,
Cripple our senators, that their limbs may halt
As lamely as their manners! lust and liberty 5
Creep in the minds and marrows of our youth;
That 'gainst the stream of virtue they may strive,
And drown themselves in riot! itches, blains,
Sow all the Athenian bosoms; and their crop
Be general leprosy! breath infect breath;
That their society, as their friendship, may
Be merely poison! Nothing I'll bear from thee,
But nakedness, thou détestable town!
Take thou that too, with multiplying banns !
Timon will to the woods; where he shall find
The unkindest beast more kinder than mankind.
The gods confound (hear me, you good gods all,)
The Athenians both within and out that wall!

"Of the brothel" is the true reading. So, in King Lear, Act II, sc. ii, the Steward says to Kent, "Art of the house?"



confounding contraries,] i. e. contrarieties whose nature it is to waste or destroy each other. So, in King Henry V: ——as doth a galled rock


"O'erhang and jutty his confounded base." Steevens.

yet confusion -] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, let confusion; but the meaning may be, though by such confusion all things seem to hasten to dissolution, yet let not dissolution come, but the miseries of confusion continue. Johnson.


- liberty —] Liberty is here used for libertinism. So, in The Comedy of Errors:

"And many such like liberties of sin;"

apparently meaning-libertines. Steevens.

6 multiplying banns!] i. e. accumulated curses. Multiplying for multiplied: the active participle with a passive signification. See Vol. II, p. 186, n. 9. Steevens.

And grant, as Timon grows, his hate may grow
To the whole race of mankind, high, and low!



Athens. A Room in Timon's House.

Enter FLAVIUS," with Two or Three Servants.

1 Serv. Hear you, master steward, where 's our master? Are we undone? cast off? nothing remaining?

Flav. Alack, my fellows, what should I say to you? Let me be recorded by the righteous gods, I am as poor as you. 1 Serv. Such a house broke! So noble a master fallen! All gone! and not One friend, to take his fortune by the arm, And go along with him!

2 Serv.

As we do turn our backs
From our companion, thrown into his grave;
So his familiars to his buried fortunes
Slink all away; leave their false vows with him,
Like empty purses pick'd: and his poor self,

7 Enter Flavius,] Nothing contributes more to the exaltation of Timon's character than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing but real virtue can be honoured by domesticks; nothing but impartial kindness can gain affection from dependants.

Johnson. 8 Let me be recorded-] In compliance with ancient elliptical phraseology, the word me, which disorders the measure, might be omitted Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:

Let it be recorded &c. Steevens.


to his buried fortunes-] So the old copies. Sir T. Hanmer reads from; but the old reading might stand. Johnson.

I should suppose that the words from, in the second line, and to in the third line, have been misplaced, and that the original reading was:

As we do turn our backs

To our companion thrown into his grave,
So his familiars from his buried fortunes
Slink all away;

When we leave a person, we turn our backs to him, not from him. M Mason.

So his familiars to his buried fortunes &c.] So those who were familiar to his buried fortunes, who in the most ample manner participated of them, slink all away, &c. Malone.

A dedicated beggar to the air,
With his disease of all-shunn'd poverty,

Walks, like contempt, alone.-More of our fellows.

Enter other Servants.

Flav. All broken implements of a ruin'd house.
3 Serv. Yet do our hearts wear Timon's livery,
That see I by our faces; we are fellows still,
Serving alike in sorrow: Leak'd is our bark;
And we, poor mates, stand on the dying deck,
Hearing the surges threat: we must all part
Into this sea of air.


Good fellows all,

The latest of my wealth I'll share amongst you.
Wherever we shall meet, for Timon's sake,
Let's yet be fellows; let 's shake our heads, and say,
As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes,
We have seen better days. Let each take some;
[Giving them Money.
Nay, put out all your hands. Not one word more:
Thus part we rich in sorrow, parting poor.1

[Exeunt Servants.
O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!
Who would not wish to be from wealth exempt,
Since riches point to misery and contempt?
Who'd be so mock'd with glory? "or"to live
But in a dream of friendship? and revive

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-rich in sorrow, parting poor.] This conceit occurs again in King Lear: "Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor."

"And Lupus, for your fierce credulity,
"One fit him with a larger pair of ears."


20, the fierce wretchedness —] I believe fierce is here used for hasty, precipitate. Perhaps it is employed in the same sense by Ben Jonson in his Poetaster:

In King Henry VIII, our author has fierce vanities. In all instances it may mean glaring, conspicuous, violent. So, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, the Puritan says:

"Thy hobby-horse is an idol, a fierce and rank idol." Again, in King John:

"O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes

"In their continuance will not feel themselves." Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:

"With all the fierce endeavour of your wit." Steevens. VOL. XV.

M m

state comprehends:
To have his pomp, and all"what state compounds,
But only painted, like his varnish'd friends?
Poor honest lord, brought low by his own heart;
Undone by goodness! Strange, unusual blood,3
When man's worst sin is, he does too much good!
Who then dares to be half so kind again?
For bounty, that makes gods, does still mar men.
My dearest lord,—bless'd, to be most accurs'd,
Rich, only to be wretched ;-thy great fortunes
Are made thy chief afflictions. Alas, kind lord!
He 's flung in rage from this ungrateful seat
Of monstrous friends: nor has he with him to
Supply his life, or that which can command it.
I'll follow, and inquire him out:
I'll ever serve. his mind with my best will;
Whilst I have gold, I'll be his steward still.


The Woods.

Enter TIMON.

Tim. O blessed breeding sun, draw from the earth
Rotten humidity; below thy sister's orb
Infect the air! Twinn'd brothers of one womb,-

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3 • Strange, unusual blood,] Of this passage, I suppose, every reader would wish for a correction: but the word, harsh as it is, stands fortified by the rhyme, to which, perhaps, it owes its introduction. I know not what to propose. Perhaps—

Strange, unusual mood,

may, by some, be thought better, and by others worse. Johnson. In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, attributed to Shakspeare, blood seems to be used for inclination, propensity:

"For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden." Strange, unusual blood, may therefore mean, strange unusual disposition.

Again, in the 5th Book of Gower, De Confessione Amantis, fol. iii, b:

"And thus of thilke unkinde blood

"Stant the memorie unto this daie."

Gower is speaking of the ingratitude of one Adrian, a lord of

Rome. Steevens.

Throughout these plays blood is frequently used in the sense of natural propensity or disposition. Malone.


below thy sister's orb-] That is, the moon's, this sublunary world. Johnson.

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